What to take on a hike

Written by: Nigel Cooney

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Time to read 2 min

Going on a hike can be an amazing way to connect with nature, get some exercise, and enjoy the outdoors. However, before you hit the trails, it's important to make sure you have all the necessary gear and equipment to stay safe and comfortable. In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to take on a hike to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience.


Proper Clothing

The right clothing can make all the difference on a hike, especially if the weather changes suddenly. Make sure to wear layers, so you can easily remove or add clothes as necessary. Breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics like wool or synthetic blends are ideal for hiking, as they'll keep you dry and comfortable. Avoid cotton, which can trap moisture and lead to chafing and blisters.


Comfortable Footwear

Good footwear is essential for hiking. Choose a sturdy pair of hiking boots or shoes with good traction and ankle support. Make sure they fit properly and are broken in before hitting the trails. If you have specific foot needs, such as wide feet, make sure to look for shoes that cater to those needs.


Navigation Tools

A map and compass or GPS can help you stay on the right trail and avoid getting lost. Make sure to pack a physical map and compass, even if you plan on using a GPS. It's also important to familiarize yourself with the trail and surrounding area before you head out.


Sun Protection

Even on cloudy days, UV rays can be harmful. Make sure to bring sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it regularly. Sunglasses and a hat can also help protect your eyes and face.


Hydration and Nutrition

Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself fueled and hydrated throughout the hike. The general rule of thumb is to drink at least one liter of water per hour of hiking. Trail mix, energy bars, and fresh fruit are great options for snacks.


First Aid Kit

Injuries can happen on a hike, so it's important to bring a basic first aid kit. Include items like bandages, antiseptic, gauze, and pain relievers. Make sure to also bring any necessary medications or medical equipment specific to your needs.


Emergency Gear

In case of an emergency, it's important to have some basic gear on hand. This includes a whistle, a flashlight with extra batteries, a multi-tool, and a space blanket. If you plan on hiking in remote areas or overnight, consider bringing a satellite communicator or personal locator beacon.


Other Essentials

Depending on the length and difficulty of the hike, there may be other items you want to consider bringing. These could include trekking poles for added stability, insect repellent, a camera, or binoculars for wildlife viewing.


By following these tips and making sure to pack all the necessary gear and equipment, you'll be well-prepared for a safe and enjoyable hike. Remember to always leave no trace and respect the environment and wildlife around you. Happy hiking!